Bill Curtis April 2015 Newsletter

The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg

Fatback Band

Note: This is the April, 2015 newsletter from Mr. Bill Curtis, founder of the Fatback Band. It is being shared here with his permission.

Hey guys; every so often I drop a few lines about where are we now. , well we’re just where I thought we would be one day! No better off than we were ten years ago. you know all the BS they were feeding us… how all this new technology was to help you to control and made more money from our content in the long run.  we are at the end of the road. this is what’s happening now. The major Labels which own about 15%  of Spotify is out there trying to find buyer for Spotify for 10 Billion Dollars. a few years ago wrote in one of my newsletters,  I believe if Steve Job was still around he would figure out a way we could get better compensated for our content. I ready don’t know if streaming is the answer, but that’s the way it is, this is the way it’s going to be if Apple become the largest music company in the world… let me show you how big this move would be. Do you remember how large mabell (AT&T) was and the government broke them up? Apple move is twice as large and maybe larger.

Spotify, Pandora, Deezer ,Google Music and Rhapsody was built on the backs of songwriters, musicians and composers. Yes that right! It’s our music that has made those companies. We are the modern day slaves. There’s no other way to put it. They took our music and downgraded it. Put in their expensive hardware for free and we bought the phones. What they were doing was using someone else creations to sell their product. I said it before and I’ll say it again, by right we should be getting something off the sale of every cell phone that has music in it at the point sale. And then they set up websites where you could get all the music ever made and pay peanuts for the use of our music… (I must say they did better than the juke box man). I know I may sound like I’m crying and little bitter but I’m not. I’m just telling it like it is and hope this new breed of writers, musicians and composers can break this chain of slavery. And get it right.

Yes, with steaming, Apple will serve you up all you can eat for $10  a month. It’s like a buffet. Now here’s the pitfall; so they won’t look like the bad guys, they are sending the artist money to the record labels; that’s like…call the Wolves to guard Sheep. I think things will be a little better. Maybe a few extra dollars in our pockets. I doubt it, not under the present pay scale, but don’t hold your breath. As long as you have 3 to 4 hands touching the money before it gets to you, we will always come up on the short end of the stick.

I think Apple is going to make this move I heard. I also heard, all that stuff with Taylor Swift, was all a big plan to bring Spotify buying price down which didn’t happen. When this slave ships stop sailing, who will be technology next ship?

before I go it would be a nice thing if the tech music industry like Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, Google and the others, would use a little of that money to build a few rest homes for senior musicians, a fund for out of work musicians and families or maybe scholarships for young musicians, do something for the industry. But oh! That would be too much like right… $ 10 Billion!!

All I’m saying…we are all in this together! Don’t kill one industry to build another. Why kill the goose that laid the golden egg, but This is the America way.

I’m outta here! Look for The Fatback Band in the UK about the first week in September. We still have some open dates that need to be filled. Hope to have a couple new songs out about the end of May.

Making some big moves in the Band beefing up sound bring in some new blood, putting some new funk in your face. keep it live.

Click here to see our FatBack Band merchandise.

Bill

(c) April 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.

Posted in Bill Curtis Newsletter | Tagged , | Leave a comment

From Bill Curtis – December 2014

  Keep on Stepping
Note: This is a sharing of Bill Curtis’ Fatback Band newsletter. It is being shard with his permission.

Oh yes I’m still here, spending more time trying to get more work and networking. I know you are saying well Bill isn’t it time for you to sit back? Music is my passion, and as long as I’m able I will be out there doing it! I think every musician know when it time. Right now, I feel like I have about twenty more albums in me, as a matter of fact, I know I do. They’re just waiting to bust out. On the real side, I love what I do and I’m thankful and gratefully blessed to be able to play and perform as long as I have. And to you guys out there, who have supported us over the many years…God Bless you and Happy Holidays.

Fatback asked the question back in the 80’s, “Is This the Future”, a song we recorded. Well this is the future and we are not going back. You might as well make up your mind to join the revolution and if not, you’ll be like the buffalo extinct. It has been over twenty years and if you haven’t gotten the message by now you never will.

I know I was one those out there bitchin how they have dumb down our music and made it like water and the music industry sold the artist out. Are we getting a fair shake now? No; by no means. What we have out there now are people controlling music that have no passion for music and you as an artist.

This is the age of technology. Either you keep up or you’ll be left by the way side. This is a right now generation. A generation that gets tired of things very quickly, a generation looking for the next big thing, a generation that want to be in the mix and want everything on demand. But if you create something great they will blow it up instantly for two months. You’re only as big as your last hit and that only lasts for about two months. This is the kind of world we are living in now.

The public is hungry for new stuff, not just any old stuff, but great music they can relate to. But they don’t know what they want until they hear it and now there lies the trick… how to get your music heard. Like I said this is the future, from Cassettes to Cd’s to download and now Steaming. From this generation on, they will never really own music; albums will be a thing of the past. What I mean is; you want go in a person home and see albums any more, your music will be in the clouds, Just like leasing a car. I could go on and on about the new world that I see ahead, but I just want you to know its here now and it every man for himself. You either in or you’re out and if you out don’t bitch, only means you’re not good enough. Look for something new to do, find another way to sell your music! Just don’t stay in that hole bitching, because nobody gives a damn. You got to keep on stepping brother.

Hey don’t take it personal! I’m talking to you old guys that don’t know how to use a computer, don’t own cell phone and don’t have a website. The one’s not familiar Tunecore, CD baby, Spotify, You Tube, Facebook & Twitter. I’m not saying they are the answer, but it’s the way of the world.

Music will bounce back, I know it will but not until the artist wakes up and realize he has power and start controlling his own rights. Music is still king if you don’t believe it, just imagine if everyone removed their music from Spotify, itune, Pandora, etc. All of those companies that are using music are making a fortune and paying back pennies to the artists. They would be out of business and they wouldn’t have anything to sell. The record companies knew that and they went and got theirs and left ours on the table. Now we got to fight, take a stand for our rights to get a decent return. Don’t let technology take us down without fight.

Our latest releases:

Don’t Waste My Time

Abstract Feeling

Posted in Bill Curtis Newsletter | Leave a comment

The Payout/Gotta Change

Note: The following newsletter is from Mr. Bill Curtis, and is being shared with his permission.

The Payout / Gotta Change

bill-drummingThis year is really starting out exciting, for one thing I feel great. The band is beginning to find its own new fresh sound. I’ m a strong believer of staying ahead of the curve, but it’s very hard to move out the shadows of your past, especially when the future is being driven by the past. What we’re trying to do is find that balance; to be identified with the past, but with a fresher look musically in the future. This is our covenant to our fans.

I want to take this time to answer a few questions that a lot of young musicians ask me. 1. Where is the music business going? 2. Will we be able to make money again in this business? My answer is always the same, I don’t know. I can only tell you what I have experienced and seen in this new world. None of it works well for the everyday working musicians out here. It won’t work until we get music people back running things, People who are doing it for the love of music. All this new high tech stuff was not made to make you rich, not even to better your life musically. We are there food source, we feed them, and they get fat. Who am I talking about; You Tube, Spotify, and Pandora. They say streaming is our salvation; it is just another platform to make you think they want to help you sell your music. The hold money payout has to change and it not going to happen any time soon. Why, because the major labels are taking 70% off the top for the use of their music and millions of dollars up front money for salaries and other things. What is left for artists? That’s why they pay us pennies. Whenever we wake up and stop feeding them, that’s when the change will come.

No, music can’t be free. Given music away for promotion is one thing, they have been doing that since the beginning of the music business. But to have a whole generation feeling that music should be free is not good, this kind of thinking has to change. I know people are willing to pay, it’s not the people. It is that 1% that doesn’t give a dam about the creative artists. Greed is killing the industry and the people in the position to change things just sitting back getting fatter and fatter than ever doing nothing, the Record labels. To me, the way I see it, they are saying, we are getting ours, in this new digital world, you had better learn how get yours, everyman for himself. They are a part of that 1%, believe me, they are not your friends, stop making money for them. To be cont.

I’m out of here, trying to stay under 500 words. Maybe if I knew how to write I could. I should have paid attention in composition class, just wasn’t feeling it.

 (c) February 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Posted in Bill Curtis Newsletter | Tagged , | Leave a comment

On Another Musical Note – February 2014

world of music

This is my last blog for “On Another Musical Note”. It has been a wonderful trip, and I thank those of you that have shared it with me. Two sites that might be nice to keep track of are Chris Rizik’s “Soul Tracks”, and DJ Soulswede’s “Soul Interviews”. Many thanks to Souly for the lovely graphic for my header!

Follow the musicians and the music that you love. Buy the mp3’s and CD’s, go to the concerts, and support your favorites musicians/genre’s in all ways. This is the only way that the music we love will continue to be played!

Putting in a plug for my friend DJ Soulswede! Would you like to sponsor Souly’s highly regarded Solar Radio show? I knew that you would! Relevant information can be found here.

For all artists that would like to have their work promoted here, please drop me a line at bonniecehovet@gmail.com. I love to point my readers in the direction of really awesome music!

Just Sharing:

Chris Rizik  Editorial on the Grammys

Digital Media Law Project

Editorial

Gabrielle Goodman

Noel Gourdin

Donell Jones

Charley Langer

Tyrone Lee

O’Bryan

Shades of the Past:

Heatwave

Shades of the Future:

Will Downing

Lyfe Jennings

John Legend

Malone

Gregory Porter

Ledisi

Charlie WIlson

Shades of t he Future:

Bey Bright

Jaha

Kwabs

Lucid

Music Mixes (Soul Tracks):

Soul Eclectics’ Mix: Vol 5

LMG: The Soul Eclectics – Move playlist

Reviews:

Donny Hathaway

Margo B

Staples Singers (book review)

Bruce Sudano

R.I.P. :

Ronny Jordan

Beloyd Taylor

Audio Interview:

Chante Moore

Solar Radio:

October 22nd 2013

Internet Radio:

 “Kempire Radio” , with Kemp Parchment, every Friday from 8 pm to 12 am EST.

 “The Marc Gordon & Friends Show”, with Marc Gordon, Tuesdays 8 pm EST

“The Morning Wake Up” , with Winston Warrior, weekdays from 8 am to 11 am EST. 

“The1Essence Radio” , With smooth grooves & interviews, 24/7.

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

All material is copyright by Bonnie Cehovet, and may not be reproduced in any format without written permission.

Posted in editorials/commentary | Leave a comment

Bill Curtis – “Don’t Be Like The Buffalo”

(The following is a newsletter from Mr. Bill Curtis, shared with his permission.)

Don’t Be Like the BuffaloPete Everett and Thomas LivingstonHey guys!!! We are in another year “2014” and the funk is going to be hotter this year than last year. in one of my previous newsletters, I mentioned I didn’t think the internet was friendly to black music. this is just my feeling, but one thing I noticed in 2013 but I don’t know if anyone else noticed or not, but there was not one black artist on the billboard top 10 for 2013.

I don’t know when the last time this happen, maybe 55 years ago I guess. I’m not saying this came about by the internet or that the internet is the reason, but I did notice a lot of the top 10 artist use black music and black artist to help produce and get them into the BB top 10.

Lynn Muldrow and Ledjerick WoodsTechnology is a wonderful thing. It’s good and on the other hand, its bad. What I mean is it is good for one side and bad for the other side. I feel that black artists are getting the short end of the stick. I know there are black artist out there still making good music because I hear it, but then the internet to me is moving very fast creating a certain kind of sound. I see the pattern…very hard for me to explain. It looks to me like cultureless, not border on any culture, but borrowing and mixing from all into one Global music sound .

I don’t care how hard they try to be anti- Cultural, there no get around black Culture. Black culture dominates the music world as long as there music our culture will live—and that’s my take!!

Bill Curtis and Ed JacksonI remember so well when black music wasn’t even considered for top ten or top forty. We were the other music from cross the tracks. We fought hard to get billboard to start including black music in the top forty categories. I hope history isn’t trying to repeat itself (but it has). It’s hard to keep a culture alive and vibrant when you don’t own your own media. Not having a black artist in the top 10 in 2013 is telling me something about how musical and socially we are divided.

I think technology is creating a different breed of music lovers. I know each generation wants to create their own style and express themselves in a way they feel.

Darryl McAlisterBack in the days, music producers came from a musical background. Today’s creators of songs and music… very few, comes from a musical background. This is a reflection of there generation. Hey technology have them believing they don’t have to study to make music or sing… and the result is what we are hearing now. The ones that figure this thing out, that’s what they need, to take next step, to go to school and learn how to make music. They will be our next innovators and creators of good music.

If you haven’t seen American Hustler check it out. The setting might be in the seventies. The moral of the story is the real world we live in now.

PS: is the technocrat sending a message we don’t need you? Where are the black executives, CEO’s, no one in the position to handle budgets, Hell! We don’t have any in the Music Industry (Maybe three).

PPS Don’t want to be like the buffalo.

(c) 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Welcome To 2014!

world of music

Changes, changes, changes! That is what 2014 is all about. While I am opting to continue this blog, it will be on a monthly, rather than a weekly basis. The categories will change, depending on what music crosses my path, and what I have to say about it. Thank you for joining me!

Putting in a plug for my friend DJ Soulswede! Would you like to sponsor Souly’s highly regarded Solar Radio show? I knew that you would! Relevant information can be found here.

For all artists that would like to have their work promoted here, please drop me a line at bonniecehovet@gmail.com. I love to point my readers in the direction of really awesome music!

Just Sharing:

Charley Langer: “Callie”

Instant Classic Radio Show

Ronnie “Raheem” Moss

Shades of the Past:

Frank McComb: “Live At the Bitter End: Remembering Donny Hathaway”

Shades of the Future:

Jonathon Butler: “Merry Christmas To You”

Marie Dahlstrom: “Gloom:

Robert Gee: “All This Love

Christian Gregory: “Count On You

John Stoddart & Lalah Hathaway: “Merry Little Christmas”

Kool & the Gang: “Kool For the Holidays”

Kenny Lattimore

Ledisi: “Blame You”

Lynn Marie & Dre Delano: “She Ain’t You – He Ain’t You”

Ruben Stoddard: “Meant To Be”

Suzanne Vega

Music Mixes (Soul Tracks):

LMG: The Soul Eclectics Mix Vol IV

LMG: The Soul Eclectics Mix Vol III

Videos:

The Baylor Project

Charley Langer

Chazz Dixon – “Get It”

Mike Stern At Yoshi’s San Francisco

Syleena Johnson: “So Big”

Reviews:

Beyonce

Al Castellana: “Outside My Window”

Melinda Doolittle

Gladys Knight: Another Journey

K’Jon

Marvin Sapp: “Christmas Card”

Timotha Lanae: “Red”

Lisa Taylor

R.I.P. :

Ricky Lawson

Grady Wilkins

Audio Interview:

Barry Eastmond

Bah Samba

Solar Radio:

October 22nd 2013

Internet Radio:

 “Kempire Radio” , with Kemp Parchment, every Friday from 8 pm to 12 am EST.

 “The Marc Gordon & Friends Show”, with Marc Gordon, Tuesdays 8 pm EST

“The Morning Wake Up” , with Winston Warrior, weekdays from 8 am to 11 am EST. 

“The1Essence Radio” , With smooth grooves & interviews, 24/7.

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

All material is copyright by Bonnie Cehovet, and may not be reproduced in any format without written permission.

Posted in editorials/commentary | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bill Curtis & the Fatback Band – Happy Holidays!

world of music

(Please note: This newsletter is from Bill Curtis, founder of the Fatback Band. It is being shared with his permission,)

Happy Holidays

This has been a great year and I’m so blessed to be surrounded by such a great family of friends around the world. And I want to thank you for your support over the many years and we would have never made this many years without you! I wish I could express how I feel in my heart to each and every one of you. We thank you, your grandkids and your great-grandkids for helping to keep the funk alive!!! “May your Holidays be Merry and Bright & have a Blessed and prosperous NEW YEAR”!!!

Okay guys let’s look back… it’s been eleven or twelve years. Where are we on the internet today and how did it make our lives better as creative artist. First let me declare myself, I feel there is a place for both label and independent artists, I’m all for new technology, new ideas, and a new ways of doing business in music industry, where the creative artist gets the lion’s share of the revenues.. Whereas the Artists have control of what he does… Where are we now? in a technology music world, where people take your content and use it to build another platform and pay you what they want you to have and there one more platform, self-help that the one that tell you what they can do for you the one that takes your money for doing nothing. It took me while to learn this it not about us it about them make money in the name of making it better for you. let’s see what we have in the last 12 years.

They said in the long run the musicians would be better off, the playing field would be leveled. And yes it was. but it unleased so much music on the world till it’s like water… it makes it almost impossible for anyone to gain any traction. Also it made it possible for you to build your our selling market. While you compete with the world, you are starving on the way and getting deeper in debt. No! The long haul is not the way, been at that end too long.

There are exceptions and you read about them every day. That’s what keep you hanging on but for the 99% the new music world…it’s not working that well! I’ve talk with musicians and artists around world I hear the same story. “I’m making a little but I can’t pay the bills with it” and there was a time when we could. Technology is making it very hard for everyone, not only musicians and if we’re not careful technology will soon create a whole world of the unemployed. I know it sounds crazy, but just think about it. Just around the corner are driverless cars, now we got unemployed cab drivers, truck drivers, etc. So you get the picture of what I mean, with all of these robots and drones, replaces manpower and it’s not going to stop.. I just wanted to drop that on you to let you know that we not the only out here affected by technology.(and they want to cut back on unemployment benefits)

After eleven years out here applying and using the social Medias…it all boils down to the individual needs, what it can do for you and does it make sense? And what I found out with Spotify, Pandora and YouTube, it don’t really make sense the fees they pay us, for the use of our music.(they are doing better than the junkbox man) I have told you this before, until we get rid of the third parties, it’s always gonna be this way. The game haven’t changed, they just wearing a new face. When I say the game hasn’t change, it’s still about you going out there making things happen! You got to build you a following. In my days it was call a fan club. You can’t really build loyal fan base sitting home at a computer. a base that will buy your merchandise, come to hear you play, tell their friends about you…and that’s what the Chitlins circuit (tour) was about. they keep black music alive. Record companies even built their white acts up off the money they stole from black acts, money that didn’t pay them. One black artist built a whole company; he was the biggest act they had, in his time. This business is not for the weak at heart, this is the future and we’re not going back, so embraces it, but not blindly look at every platform and measure, if it not paying you what you think you are worth leave it alone…. its all about EXPOSURE, EXPOSURE, EXPOSURE.

One thing I did noticed the internet made black music more accessible worldwide, but don’t know if it black friendly (technology) or is it we just don’t know how to be that tech savvy? All the success story I read about, it’s still the same picture. With all the new venues and genre coming about, it the same group of people going through the same doors. I don’t see those doors opening, maybe they are, and I just don’t see them. Is this our new chitlin circuit?

Happy Holidays!

Bill (Fatback) Curtis

PS yes! I’m still touring with the Band and recording not as much as I would like to…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment